Laura Lee Guhrke returns to the blog today with the second in her Dear Lady Truelove series that involves the daughters of a family as they run a small newspaper known for the advice dispensed to the ton. Please read on for my review of
The Trouble with True Love
I enjoyed the first in this series and the introduction of Clara as the younger sister to the headstrong and ebullient Irene. But now, with Irene married and on her honeymoon, Clara is left in charge of The Weekly Gazette, and with Irene’s prolonging of her honeymoon, she is tasked with filling in as “Lady Truelove”: an agony aunt column that is the reason for the paper’s success. Poor Clara isn’t confident, always seeing herself as ‘second’ to her sister: the beautiful, smart, caring and successful (married to a Duke) sister. To make matters worse, she’s a true innocent, prone to shyness and uncomfortable in new situations.
Rex had a horrible childhood, alternately ignored and used as a pawn in his parents’ marriage – their infatuation and obsession with one another led to a disastrous marriage: full of infidelity, harsh words, anger and harsher repercussions. Having no other real example of love, Rex has convinced himself to never love, indeed he’s anti-marriage also, as he struggles to make ends meet after his father cut him off from an allowance and he is living on the kindness of his Aunt Petunia. But all is not smooth – when he is introduced to Clara – a debutante who seems to have a very low opinion of him that is challenged only by her own lack of confidence, he realizes where he first saw her, and just who she is. See – Clara used a conversation (nearly verbatim) between Rex and his friend Lionel as a way to ‘warn’ a woman she believed was being ill-used and deceived in her first appearance as Lady Truelove.
Oh this was cute and fun: despite Rex’s fury with Clara’s use of his conversation, there is something so refreshing about her. Not being prone to falling into puddles of mush or conniving to capture his attention (unlike others) he’s intrigued by her surety in her often naïve moral stance and her offhanded manner of delivering these proclamations. But, when his friend’s fury lays him low and the secret identity of Lady Truelove is threatened, he goes to Clara to threaten / warn her. Oh their banter (and the tension) is adorable, and Clara’s ability to take charge and make solid decisions all while unaware of her own abilities speaks to him and a bargain is struck. He’ll write the Lady Truelove columns if Clara agrees to a sham courtship.
Rex’s intentions aren’t wholly altruistic: his need to find a wife, or show actual intention of the hunt is what he believes he needs to regain the allowance from his father. In addition, he sees the confident, assured and intelligence Clara misses in herself, and finds her lack of confidence frustrating. Slowly as they spend time, and with his knowledge that his interest in Clara (false or not) will increase the interest in her by other men in society – thus increasing her chances of obtaining her dream of marriage and children. But what Rex never quite intended, even as he wants Clara, is that he could find himself jealous of others or missing her company.
Easy reading: light and fun with great dialogue, easy banter and a level of tension between Rex and Clara that is measurable: the real star in this story is Rex’s gentle coaxing of Clara’s confidence and awareness of herself in both business and personal dealings. He’s sweet even when he tries not to be, honorable when she doubts it, and totally in love even as neither recognize it. A lovely story that left me wanting more – and I can hope for more with a story about Clara and Irene’s errant brother James.
Title: The Trouble with True Love
Author: Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Dear Lady Truelove #2
Also in this series: The Truth About Love and Dukes
Genre: Historical Romance, Setting: Britain, Victorian
Published by: Avon
Published on: 30 January, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Dear Lady Truelove,
I am a girl of noble family, but I am painfully shy, especially in my encounters with those of the opposite sex . . .
For Clara Deverill, standing in for the real Lady Truelove means dispensing advice on problems she herself has never managed to overcome. There’s nothing for it but to retreat to a tearoom and hope inspiration strikes between scones. It doesn’t—until Clara overhears a rake waxing eloquent on the art of “honorable” jilting. The cad may look like an Adonis, but he’s about to find himself on the wrong side of Lady Truelove.
Rex Galbraith is an heir with no plans to produce a spare. He flirts with the minimum number of eligible young ladies to humor his matchmaking aunt, but Clara is the first to ever catch his roving eye. When he realizes that Clara—as Lady Truelove—has used his advice as newspaper fodder, he’s infuriated. But when he’s forced into a secret alliance with her, he realizes he’s got a much bigger problem—because Clara is upending everything Rex thought he knew about women—and about himself. . . .
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.